Week One: Kathy Benson

If your life were a television show what kind of show would it be? Who are the characters?

A television show about my life would be a Thirtysomething/Parenthood style one hour dramedy called Bereaved and Blessed.

The show’s theme song would be I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz.

Each episode would start with an opening monologue in the form of me narrating/typing the beginning of a blog post (like how Doogie Howser did with his journal) and each show would end with the conclusion of the blog entry. This would also be reminiscent of how Meredith Grey narrates Grey’s Anatomy.

As the main character, I am a stay at home mom who resides in Chicago, Illinois with my husband and two living children. I have learned a lot from dealing with secondary infertility, pregnancy loss and neonatal death during five years of my adult life. I am a woman who loves to write, teaches group fitness classes part time and is forever trying to live up to my own expectations of being a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and neighbor. I have a strong faith and consider myself a practicing and questioning catholic.

My college sweetheart, whom I have been married to for almost twelve years and together with for close to sixteen, is another central character. Though we have our moments, as all couples do, he is my best friend and our relationship is a great example of how partners’ personalities, strengths and weaknesses can balance each other out. Bob tends to be more reserved and laid back. I tend to be more outgoing and high strung. He helps keep me grounded and I challenge him to expand his horizons. He was raised on the conservative end of the political spectrum and I with the mostly opposite liberal perspective on life. Together we are able to help each other understand and appreciate different points of view. Over the years this has made us both more moderate and realize that very little in life is black or white. There are so many shades of grey and sides to every story.

Our eight year old son Sean, two year old daughter Abby and deceased baby girl Molly are all important characters as well. Each one of our children (both living and gone too soon) have taught us so much about what is important and they bring so much love and joy to our family. There are so many wonderful and challenging aspects of life and parenting that my TV show would address both in real, comical and serious ways, as I try to do on my blog; though writing with humor is not one of my strengths.

Other characters include my parents and older sister who I have close relationships with and also live in the Chicago area. There might even be episodes that would focus on some of the things they are struggling with or celebrating in their lives. My parents’ story lines might look at the experience of aging, retirement and being grandparents. My sister and her family are trying to adopt another child, so there could be episodes telling that part of their story.

I think relationships with family, friends and even strangers are so interesting and also can be frustrating. So the TV show version of Bereaved and Blessed would dive into trying to make sense of why we do the things we do and how we get ourselves into uncomfortable situations at times, even when we have the best of intentions.

To do this, the show might include extended family members as characters, as well as friends that I have known for years and newer ones. There could be episodes that introduce people I have met through a perinatal bereavement support group that I attend monthly and/or those I connected with through blogging who get what it is like to try to find joy in the journey when life doesn’t go as we hope, dream or plan, whether because of infertility, loss or some other circumstance.

I think Bereaved and Blesssed the TV Show, similar to my blog of the same name, would be an opportunity for those who are bereaved and blessed themselves to get validation that their feelings and reactions to their life experiences are normal. I also hope that it would raise awareness about, help build compassion for and show sensitivity to those of us who are living through infertility and loss. News media, talk shows, television dramas and comedies rarely do story lines about those struggling to conceive and/sustain pregnancies well. They also don’t always portray those trying to go on with their lives after losing a child(ren) realistically. I hope that a show based on my life would do that, as I try to on my blog.

Thank you for reading. I invite you to visit my blog to find out more about what I think it means to be bereaved and blessed and I look forward to seeing you back here next Thursday and every Thursday over the next year.

I am excited and feel honored to be a The Today Voice author and hope you will follow our journey and share your thoughts on our posts “52 weeks, 5 voices, 1 day at a time.”

If your life was a TV show, what would it be about? Who would your main characters be?

I would love to know!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

________________________________

Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.

Kathy blogs at Bereaved and Blessed. You can also follow Kathy on Twitter @BereavedBlessed and her Facebook page.

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20 thoughts on “Week One: Kathy Benson

  1. Wonderful post Kathy! My wife and I went through infertility issues for the first six years we were married. We went to fertility doctors and found out that she may not be able to have children.

    It was then, when we felt weakest-her feeling bad for not being able to conceive and myself for just wanting to make her feel better–that we discovered we were pregnant. Unfortunately we had a miscarriage, one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. We decided after that to not try anymore, if it happened it happened.

    Ten months later, we discovered we were pregnant with our son and that my wife would have to have injections on a daily basis, toward the end of term twice a day, because she was deficient in a protein that caused her body to clot too much while she was pregnant. Our son is eight and is doing well. We also have a two year old, but that’s another story.

    Wonderful post. Looking forward to reading more on The Today Voice and on your blog.

    • Thank you Brian!

      I am sorry to hear that your wife and you also dealt with infertility and loss for many years. It sounds like you went through a lot to build your family, but I am so glad to hear that you have two healthy children now. How interesting that we both have two living children who are 8 and 2.

      Thanks again for your kind words and I too look forward to reading more of your writing here and on your blog.

  2. My wife and I also deal with infertility issues. We’ve always known we wanted to have children. In fact, early on in our marriage, we began buying baby items here and there. It was just something that we did with the idea that one day we’d get to use it. We now have an entire closet packed to the ceiling with anything you could possibly need, from diapers to furniture. But no baby. It’s difficult, but I know one day we will be parents, one way or another.

    Thanks for this first great post!

    • Thank you for sharing your wife and your experience with infertility Peter. I am sorry that Brian, you and I have that in common, but do believe that we learn so much from everything we experience in life and hopefully use that to become better and more compassionate people. I appreciate your attitude about building your family and agree that one way or another, you can and will be parents someday (and will be able to use all the stuff that you have accumulated).

      You are welcome and thanks again for inviting me to participate here! I am truly honored to be “Thursday’s Voice.”

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Voice: Week One

  4. That sounds like a good show — a dramedy. I would watch!

    For me I’d say the Carol Burnett show. Kinda clowning around with those close to me, trying not to take life too seriously. A little bit of singing, a little bit of dancing, a lot of laughing.

    And tugging on my ear as a gesture to the ones I love.

    Nice to “meet” Brian and Peter, as well. Hi, Guys!

    • Thank you Lori! I lcan totally see you doing a show like that and think it would be very entertaining! Thanks for reading/coming over to support me here at The Today Voice. xoxo

    • Hi Lavender! It’s nice to meet you too. I like a good drama, but when it comes right down to it, there is nothing better than having a good laugh. I would definitely watch your show. Thanks for visiting The Today Voice, I look forward to sharing our voices with you.

  5. Congrats on the new writing project! 🙂 And actually, I think Bereaved and Blessed wouldn’t be such a bad name for a TV show. 😉

    I don’t know what mine would be. A telenovela, maybe. With lots of drama and eye-rolling. Or maybe a food network cooking show … the kind where the host gets to travel around and talk about themselves. Are there telenovela cooking shows? There should be!

    • Thank you Justine! I really appreciate your enthusiasm and support!

      I love your idea for a TV show about your life and if anyone could pull off a telenovela cooking show it would be you! 🙂

    • Thank you jjraffe! I appreciate your kind words and support here. I think it is a fun topic too and am glad you enjoyed reading this. 🙂

  6. I’m still formulating my show inside my head, but I do know the opening credits would have me jumping over a sofa. I can’t actually jump over a sofa in real life, but I’m sure I’d be capable of it on-screen.

    And I would watch your show too.

    • You are too funny Mel! Glad you have part of your opening credits figured out!

      Thank you for watching my hypothetical TV show too! 🙂

  7. Kathy I love finding out you are living in Chicago! I spent the last three years downtown, and am now living in the northwest suburbs with my mom. I love the TV show title, and I also love your other blog. ❤

    • That is awesome that we live close to each other Amanda! We’ll have to meet up one of these days. I grew up in Evanston, so am familiar with the northwest burbs. Thank you for your kind words about my TV show/blog title! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Week Fifty: Kathy Benson | The Today Voice

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